The Saudi royal family acted quickly after King Fahd's death to appoint Crown Prince Abdullah his successor, and Defense Minister Prince Sultan the new crown prince. Although Abdullah had been the real ruler of the kingdom during recent years and no radical change in policy is expected, his enthronement comes amid serious challenges facing Saudi Arabia.
The essential ingredient the Arab spring is not what occurred in the White House. It is, instead, what occurred on the streets of Ramallah, Cairo and Beirut.
Carnegie and the Gulf Research center co-hosted a two-day workshop held in Dubai, with experts, researchers, and political activists from the GCC states, the U.S., and Europe. The workshop focused on assessing past political reform--its causes and impacts--and the prospects for future reform in the GCC states.
The adoption of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative by the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations (G-8) at their June 8-10 summit in Sea Island, Georgia represents a diplomatic victory for the United States. The initiative, however, is extremely unlikely to have a noticeable impact on political reform in the Middle East.
Despite predictions that the American march into Baghdad would unleash either a wave of democratization or a plague of repression throughout the region, in reality most Middle Eastern states are too preoccupied with domestic problems to be moved profoundly by events in Iraq. Iraq will have a political impact on the region, but changes are likely to come in smaller steps than commonly predicted.
Discussants discuss the consequences of regime change in Iraq on countries in the Middle East and Central and South Eastern Asia.
Marina Ottaway was joined by Shibley Telhami, Nawaf Obaid, and Mamoun Fandy to discuss challenges in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Terrorism's deep roots in the Middle East, and the nationalities of those involved in the recent attacks, have drawn even greater attention to the region.